City won't intervene in neighbours' snow shoveling disputes
No bylaws exist for shoveling snow on other people's properties
Posted: Feb 22, 2013 12:40 PM ET
Last Updated: Feb 22, 2013 12:35 PM ET
Sudbury bylaw officers are being asked to intervene in disputes about where snow is being thrown or blown — but for those who want to keep a neighbour's snow off their property, they’ll have to call a lawyer.
Bylaw department manager Darlene Barker said that kind of complaint belongs in small claims court. She said bylaws are generally meant to protect public spaces and public safety, “whereas a bylaw for putting snow on somebody else's property is more private in nature."
Bylaw officers have been busy this winter giving tickets to people who shovel snow onto roads and sidewalks, but "blowing their snow or shoveling it onto other people's properties is something we don't have a bylaw for,” Barker said. “So we advise that they have to proceed civilly against the person that's doing it."
For law student Andrew Fleming — who has been keeping two driveways clear this winter — dealing with snow being thrown from a neighbour’s yard is certainly nothing he would hire a lawyer for.
"I wouldn't take a neighbour to court over that, and I don't try to throw it on the neighbours yard,” he said.
“But the snow is built up so high that they're not using the yard, I'm not using the yard, so I wouldn't have a problem if they're throwing it in the yard."
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